Category Archives: Teaching

Leveling the Playing Field: Parent-Teacher Communication

Parents of gifted children can be intense when it comes to their child. These parents have great expectations of the schools and teachers who educate them. Teachers are too often expected to be all things to all children. This can be difficult when they receive so little exposure to gifted education in their undergraduate coursework and PD opportunities.

Gifted education begins at the local level. Parents should know and understand school policies and state guidelines before meeting their child’s teacher. They should be prepared to share insights concerning their child’s documented abilities, perceived needs and specific interests.

How can IEP/504 plans guide the parent-teacher relationship involving GT/2E students? G/IEPs and 504 plans can provide a framework for a productive parent-teacher conference and the basis for an individualized and meaningful education going forward. A well thought out plan can enhance the parent-teacher relationship and ensure the student’s needs are being met when followed. 504 plans can also provide a legal basis for ensuring that the needs of twice-exceptional students are being met. Templates for GIEP and 504 plans are available online if your school/state doesn’t currently use them.

What strategies can teachers use to increase positive engagement with parents? Teachers can take the time to seek professional development concerning gifted education and endorsements when working in a full-time gifted classroom. Positive engagement begins with good communication efforts. It’s important to take the time to get to know the student and appreciate their unique situation.

Parents of elementary students are generally seen as the most intense. Parents and teachers can see this as a learning experience; how to best meet the needs of the child. Although the ability to self-advocate is highly regarded in the gifted community, parents need to continue to nurture positive relationships with their child’s teachers even at the secondary level.

Keeping an open line of communication is the best defense against a contentious relationship. This can involve electronic communications (email, apps) as well as a simple written note or phone call. Without positive communication, it is the student who will suffer. It takes time and determination to build an effective relationship between parents and teachers.

A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

2019 – 2nd Annual Survey of US Primary School Teachers & Parents The State of Parent Engagement Because When Parents are Partners, Kids Do Better, Parents are Happier, & Teachers’ Job Is Easier

Report: Teachers Have Difficulty Engaging Families

Questions to Ask at Parent Teacher Conferences

Tips for Your Gifted Kid’s Parent-Teacher Conference

Talking With Your Gifted Child’s Teacher

15 Tips for Leading Productive Parent-Teacher Conferences

Communicating Effectively with Your Gifted Child’s School

Improving GT Parent-Teacher Communications

Effect of Students’ Behavioral Characteristics on Teachers’ Referral Decisions in Gifted Education (pdf)

Parents and Teachers: Finding Common Ground

The Teacher-Parent Connection: Tips for Working with the Parents of a Gifted Student

Six tips for communicating with your gifted child’s teacher

8 Sentence Starters to Use When Talking to Teachers

Tips for Parents: Forging Partnerships with Teachers, and Why They Often Don’t Work!

A Gifted Ed teacher’s Secrets to Success

Gifted Parenting Support: Teachers Partnering with Parents

Working with Parents to Improve High Ability Students’ Education

Why Don’t Teachers and Parents See Eye to Eye about Gifted Children?

The Survival Guide for Teachers of Gifted Kids (Amazon)

Parents of the Gifted Guide to Teachers/Teacher’s Guide to Parents of the Gifted (RFWP)

How to make parent-teacher conferences worthwhile and productive

The Positive Potential of Parent-Teacher Conferences

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah Mythbuster

How to Talk to Your Child’s Teacher (or Coach, or Mentor) without Setting the School on Fire (Advice for Parents of Gifted Kids)

NAGC: Classroom Advocacy (pdf)

Sprite’s Site: De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes 9: One Size Shoe Cover System

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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Strengths-Based Learning for 2E Students

 

Strengths-based learning curriculum takes into consideration how best a student learns and relies on the student’s individual profile. It focuses on the student’s interests; is modified through ongoing assessment; and recognizes a student’s advanced abilities. Strengths-based learning does not focus on areas of weakness and therefore is not predicated on remediation.

To encourage growth: twice-exceptional (2e) learners need a psychologically safe environment, tolerance for asynchronous behaviors, time, positive relationships; and a strength-based, talent-focused environment. (Baum, Schader, and Owen 2017) Neurodiversity-inspired educators create positive ecosystems within which students with learning differences can learn according to their strengths rather than their weaknesses. (“First Discover Their Strengths” Tomas Armstrong. Educational Leadership October 2012)

Emphasizing 2E students’ strengths provides opportunities for student choice, links new content to previous knowledge, and provides appropriate support from both gifted and learning support teachers and staff. Strengths-based learning includes support for social emotional needs of 2E students through provision of extra time to complete assignments, developing self-advocacy skills, and the teaching of stress management skills.

How does one discover student’ strengths? Students can engage in self-reflection: “What am I already good at?” “What will help me get to my goals?” “How can I use my strengths to achieve my goals?” Profiles can be created based on past performance, current interests, and teacher and parent observations.

Engaging students in strengths-based learning starts by offering an entry point related to an area in which they’ve already shown talent; perhaps in performance arts rather than writing. Students may respond positively to strengths-based learning through using novel introduction of new concepts such as involving guest speakers, experts demonstrating concepts, or field trips.

How can teachers incorporate dual-differentiation effectively in the classroom? Dual-differentiation requires that teachers and staff coordinate efforts and engage in extensive planning before introducing differentiated curriculum. Whenever possible, consider highly personalized curriculum to meet student needs. Ability grouping and flexible grouping can improve the effectiveness of strengths-based learning. Grouping can be predicated on ability, interests, and desired outcomes. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Strengths-Based Learning: The Key Piece to the Puzzle of Twice-Exceptional (2e) Students (pdf)

To Be Gifted and Learning Disabled: Strength-Based Strategies for Helping Twice-Exceptional Students with LD, ADHD, ASD and More (Prufrock)

Strengths-Based Resources

The Principles of Strengths-Based Education (pdf)

Strength-Based Practice with Children in Trouble (pdf)

Using a Strengths Based Approach to Support Twice-Exceptional Learners in the Classroom (pdf)

Giftedness and ADHD: A Strengths-based Perspective and Approach

What It Means to Teach Gifted Learners Well

Off the Charts! Asynchrony and the Gifted Child (pdf)

Using Strength-Based Pedagogy to Engage and Challenge 2E Students Development (pdf)

Leaving Behind Normalcy: Asynchrony and the Gifted Child

Twice Exceptional: Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities Considerations Packet (pdf)

Start with Student Strengths to Promote Learning

Effective Teaching Strategies for Gifted/Learning-Disabled Students with Spatial Strengths (pdf)

Gifted and Dyslexic: How the Talent-centered Model Works

Strategies for Supporting Students Who Are Twice-Exceptional (pdf)

An Operational Definition of Twice Exceptional Learners: Implications and Applications (pdf)

Twice-Exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on 2e Identification

Twice-Exceptional Learners The Journey Toward a Shared Vision (pdf)

Twice-Exceptional: Students with Both Gifts and Challenges or Disabilities (pdf)

Academic Self-Concept in Twice-Exceptional Students: An Exploratory Investigation (pdf)

AUS: Strength-based Approach A guide to Writing Transition Learning and Development Statements (pdf)

The 2e Center Suite of Tools™ with My LearningPrint™

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Children Page

Cybraryman’s Resolutions and Reflection Page

Cybraryman’s Goals Page

Cybraryman’s Self-Determined Learning Page

Cybraryman’s Know Your Students Page

Identifying and Supporting Gifted ELLs

Sprite’s Site: New Shoes

Sprite’s Site: 2E Is

Sprite’s Site: What Makes Them 2E?

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Board Games, Video Games and Gamification For GT Students

Gamification is the “process of adding game elements or mechanics to an experience” and may include competing groups of students, rewards/points, timed activities or badges. Game-based learning adapts traditional learning experiences with a virtual game framework and provides an authentic real-world context, clear goals, feedback and a high degree of student interaction. (Mindsearch.org) True game-based learning, aside from online quiz games generally thought to be gamed-based learning, is based on a framework which defines a problem and requires a solution.

Game-based learning engages GT students giving them the opportunity to make decisions about their own learning.  It empowers them to take charge and allows them to take risks in a safe environment where failure doesn’t matter.

Any downside to game-based learning rests on the misunderstanding of what it is and/or poor implementation. GT students know when they’re being ‘played’. It’s important they play a role in deciding what constitutes this type of learning. Game-based learning must be intended as a resource that challenges gifted kids; more than as a source for extrinsic rewards. Professional development is essential which clearly delineates what game-based learning is and what gamification of the current curriculum looks like.

Strategies for introducing game-based learning should consider utilizing GT students to choose the games or even design the games to be used. Gamification of the curriculum should be predicated on the belief that it will enhance learning rather than solely seek to increase classroom engagement. Gifted elementary learners can add their voice in deciding how to do this. Game-based learning should be flexible, promote higher level thinking skills, include enrichment activities that are complex, and cover a wide-ranging interdisciplinary curriculum.

Formative assessments conducted during the learning process can modify teaching and learning activities and they are appealing to GT students who often see themselves as partners in the learning process. The games themselves are the assessment and can be used to teach as well as measure 21st century skills. As a complex problem space, the game actually collects the data and shows if the student is progressing.

Although somewhat passé with younger kids since the advent of Fortnite, Minecraft is still a good option. Familiarity with the game and its popularity outside school appeals to kids; it doesn’t seem like traditional learning. Another upcoming game, RoboCo from Filament, is another good example of a game which will appeal to gifted students. It’s a virtual robotics kit aimed at middle school and high school students that simulates building robots in virtual reality. It’s being partially funded by the NSF grants. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

How to Create an Interactive Gifted Program

Effects of Technology on Gifted Children

Game-Based Learning: Resource Roundup

Small, Safe Steps for Introducing Games to the Classroom

Cybraryman’s Games Page

Cybraryman’s Games in Education Page

The Power and Promise of Game-Based Learning

Game-Based Learning Is Changing How We Teach. Here’s Why.

How to use game-based learning in the classroom

Digital game-based learning enhances literacy

AUS: Why Gamification is So Important

Gamification vs Game-based Learning: what’s the difference?

The Effect of Game-Based Learning on Students’ Learning Performance in Science Learning – A Case of “Conveyance Go”

From Users to Designers: Building a Self-Organizing Game-Based Learning Environment (pdf)

NZ: Gamification

E-learning for Kids – Is the Future of Education Already Here?

Implicit modeling of learners’ personalities in a game-based learning environment using their gaming behaviors

What’s In a Game? A game-based approach to exploring 21st-century European identity and values

Educational Practices behind Gamification

Why US Classrooms are Starting to Resemble Arcades

Gamification in the Classroom: Small Changes and Big Results [Infographic]

Exciting new approach to classroom learning! (YouTube 8:35)

Filament Games Turns Robotics into Virtual Reality

The Benefits of Game-Based Learning

The Difference between Gamification and Game-Based Learning

Game-Based Learning + Formative Assessment = A Perfect Pair

Cybraryman’s The Brain and Brain Games Page

Cybraryman’s Games and Puzzles Page

Global Education Conference: Game-Based Learning

Why Games?

Lure of the Labyrinth

Dragon Box

The Oregon Trail

Gertrude’s Secrets (Wikipedia)

Image courtesy of Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conard

Resources for GT Educators

 

Virtually all national and state organizations provide resources via their websites and during conferences. Please note that 2e resources are generally listed under parent resources. We will include an extensive listing in our weekly blog post. In recent years, organizations that serve the gifted community and schools also provide both free resources and fee paid resources. We will also include these in our blog post.

There are several publishing companies which cater to the GT community and provide excellent curriculum resources. General education websites also include resources specific to gifted and talented; such as, edutopia. Also, universities which offer gifted education certification have resources available on their websites and for purchase.

The Legacy Book Awards from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a great resource for book recommendations. Modern Curriculum for Gifted & Advanced Academic Students from Todd Kettler is a good resource.

What are the best tech resources/online programs for GT teachers? We like Brian Housand – a former #gtchat Advisor, who has a great tech website for GT educators. A4 Of course, we like resources from our very own #gtchat Advisor Ginger Lewman and her website.

On our @gtchatmod Twitter account, we have a list for ‘Who to Follow’ on Twitter and a list of Texas GT educators on Twitter Also, on gtchatmod’s personal account @ljconrad – there are lists for U.S. gifted education on Twitter and Global gifted education on Twitter.

Where are the best places to network for GT educators? Conferences and conventions for gifted organizations are great places to network. TAGT Leadership Conference will be help April 14th to 16th this year in Georgetown, TX. Edcamps are also good places to network as well as during professional development opportunities. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

TAGT Leadership Conference from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented will be help April 14th to 16th this year in Georgetown, TX.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZST/Noon AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Resources for Educators of Gifted Students (Elementary and Secondary)

High Quality Curriculum for Gifted Learners

Forming Flexible Learning Groups (pdf)

A Teacher’s Guide to Flexible Grouping and Collaborative Learning

Tips for Critically Evaluating Online Gifted Education Information

Fighting Fake News! Teaching Critical Thinking and Media Literacy in a Digital Age (B. Housand)

Common Core and America’s High-Achieving Students (J. Plucker) (pdf)

Common Core State Standards, National Science Standards and Gifted Education

Gifted Education Strategies

Gifted & Talented Enrichment Curriculum (pdf)

Challenging Highly Gifted Learners (The Practical Strategies Series in Gifted Education)

Differentiating Instruction for Gifted Learners (SlideShare)

Texas Gateway for Online Resources

8 Essential Tips & Resources for Educators of Gifted Kids

Byrdseed

Tips for Teachers: Successful Strategies for Teaching Gifted Learners

Chicken Soup for the Gifted? Differentiation in the Regular Classroom (Fiedler) (pdf)

Practical Recommendations and Interventions: Gifted Students (pdf)

GT Strategies and Resources (Corsicana ISD)

Teacher Resources from Todd Stanley

Gifted Resources: Curriculum

50 Resources for The Parents & Teachers of Gifted & Talented Students

Resources for Educators

Gifted Education Resources for Educators

TED Ed: How to Boost Student Access to Gifted & Talented Education Resources

You CAN Do The Rubik’s Cube Program

Bright & Quirky

Illustrative Mathematics

Khan Academy

Code Monkey

Flocabulary

Genius Hour: Passion Projects that Ignite Innovation and Student Inquiry (Amazon)

When Math Happens

AUS: Hawker Brownlow Education

Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional Children (Amazon)

Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use (Amazon)

Successful Teaching in the Differentiated Classroom (bn)

Raisin’ Brains (GPP)

Cybraryman’s Gifted and Talented Page

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Children Page

Joy Kerr’s Genius Hour Livebinder

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

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